Sunflower Mandala

Love, Oatfully

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “comfort food”? For me, it’s something warm and soothing–a bowl of homemade soup, perhaps. I also find nutty and grainy foods comforting: chunky peanut butter on a slice of whole-grain bread can cheer me up big time. This is the season for comfort food: tender turkey teamed with gravy, crispy stuffing infused with chestnuts and mushrooms, smooth pies and puddings. Ding! The Yum Meter just shot up to 11!

I sometimes use the image of “comfort food” to describe yoga, particularly the restorative practice I offer privately and on Sunday mornings (and some Wednesday evenings) at Yoga Haven in Tuckahoe.  Restorative yoga is reward without effort: with the help of sturdy bolsters and rolled-up blankets, we place ourselves in nurturing asana, then receive the benefits of the poses without expending muscular effort. Definitely high on the Yum Meter, and calorie-free to boot!

Some effort is required, however, to get a home-cooked, healing meal. I’ve never made a turkey, but I can share an easy recipe for a delicious and nutritious breakfast dish that will warm your tummy on a chilly morning.

I adapted the following recipe for oatmeal pancakes from one clipped from a book about 20 years ago. Soluble fiber, which is found in oat bran, oatmeal, and oat flour (oat bran has the highest soluble fiber content of the three), is a cholesterol-lowering champ, and these petite pancakes, with their tasty and textured oatmeal filling, pack a fiber punch.

A sprinkling of flaxseed adds an extra fiber boost. While I’ve only made the pancakes with whole seeds (I like the crunch) grinding the seeds first may be a better choice: several articles I’ve read note that whole flaxseed can pass through our system undigested, taking their benefits with them. Another option: substitute flax meal for the seeds.

Although my son grumbles when he’s served oatmeal cereal, he downs these pancakes with gusto. I love watching him enjoy a healthy meal, especially one that offers, to put it delicately, elimination-enhancing properties. So the next time you’re in the mood for comfort food, vote for oats–your body will thank you!

Oatmeal Fiber Pancakes

  • 3/4 cup cooked Old Fashioned oats (not the cooks-in-minute processed kind)
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (spelt flour also works really well)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed (see above note re: flax meal)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp pressed oil

Cook oatmeal and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix eggs and oil.

Add dry ingredients, one at a time; mix well.

Add water to moisten ingredients, but don’t let batter get runny.

Add oatmeal and mix well; add more water if needed.

Spoon small amounts of batter into greased frying pan (or use griddle)

Cook until golden and firm.

Makes about 20 small-size pancakes.

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